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Danger level 7
Type: Adware
Common infection symptoms:
  • Annoying Pop-up's
  • Shows commercial adverts


In this article, we will talk about a recently found malicious program called AdVPN. After analyzing it, we came to the conclusion that it is a mere adware-type application, an infection that you ought to remove as soon as the opportunity arises. It is distributed with bundled software featured on questionable freeware hosting sites. Once it is on your computer, it might show you annoying and intrusive advertisements. Thankfully, however, it currently does not work because its server is down. Still, it is distributed, and you can get it on your machine accidentally. Now, it might remain inactive or spring into life if the server comes back online and you do not want to wait for it to do that, now do you?

This program was published by a company called Alto Cloud Media Ltd. Additional research of this company did not yield any results. It appears that this application is its only release and we think that this company is fake and might have been created for the purpose of AdVPN only. The company name is supposed to assure that this program comes from a reliable course which it does not. This tactic is common among adware developers, and some developers make up a company name for each ad-supported program they release to make it seem that they are unrelated. However, we have never before an application that could resemble this particular adware.

Alto Cloud Media Ltd has a dedicated website at Altocloudmedia.com. This semi-functional website whose links redirect to the top of the main page clearly says that this company is an ad network that offers next-gen media and monetization solutions. However, you cannot download AdVPN from this website as we have found that it is distributed via malicious software bundles. Indeed, it comes bundled with freeware, and some bundles can install it without your consent. However, some may allow you to deselect its installation, but you must select advanced/custom installation settings and uncheck its respective checkbox.

However, if accidentally install it on your computer then, provided that it works, it will serve coupons, pop-ups, in-texts, banners, pop-unders, and other forms of advertisements inside your web browser’s window. Now, the methods used to present the advertisements are subject to change, but the fact that this program is designed to feature ads is outlined in the EULA of this program which states “Altocloudmedia allows other companies, called third-party ad servers or ad networks, to serve advertisements within the Service. These third-party ad servers or ad networks use technology to send, directly to your browser, the advertisements, and links that appear on the Service.” As you can see, it is a clear-cut case of adware and we are of the opinion that some of the third-party advertisers can use AdVPN to promote shady content, such as phishing websites, fake virtual stores, and sites that feature download of potentially unwanted programs that seek to extract your money, adware that serves ads, browser hijacker’s hijack the browser settings, and even ransomware that encrypts files. All in all, you cannot be certain whether this program will promote content that is safe. Therefore, we suggest that you delete it entirely.

In conclusion, AdVPN is an unreliable, useless application whose sole purpose is to deliver commercial advertisements on in your web browser while you browse the web. Fortunately, at the time of this article, its server is down, so it does not show any ads. Nevertheless, while it is true that advertisements are annoying, intrusive and unwelcome, you should also consider that they can promote malicious websites that can jeopardize your privacy and the security of your PC. Therefore, we recommend that you remove this application using the guide provided below.

Uninstall via Control Panel

Windows 8/8.1/10

  1. Right-click the Start menu/Start screen.
  2. Click Programs and Features.
  3. Find the software and right-click it.
  4. Click the Uninstall button.

Windows Vista & 7

  1. Click the Start menu button.
  2. Open the Control Panel.
  3. Go to Uninstall a program.
  4. Find the program.
  5. Right-click it and click the Uninstall button.

Windows XP

  1. Open the Start menu and go to Control Panel.
  2. Select Add or Remove Programs.
  3. Find the application and click Remove.

Delete the leftovers

  1. Press Windows+E keys.
  2. In the address box, enter the following file paths and press Enter.
    • ROGRAMFILES(x86)%
    • %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Start Menu\Programs
    • %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
    • %USERPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
    • %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
    • %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Application Data\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
  3. Find AdVPN, right-click it and click Delete.

Delete the registry keys

  1. Press Windows+R keys.
  2. Type regedit in the box and click OK.
  3. Find, right-click and delete the following registry keys.
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\AdVPN
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\AdVpnProxyService
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\services\eventlog\AdVpnServiceLog
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\eventlog\AdVpnServiceLog
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\services\AdVpnProxyService
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\AdVpnProxyService
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\services\AdVPN Service
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\AdVPN Service
Download Spyware Removal Tool to Remove* AdVPN
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